Let’s get this out of the way first: Bronies are dudes (bros) who are really into My Little Pony, specifically the cartoon TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Their annual convention has drawn more than 4000 enthusiasts to New York in recent years, but this year it’s coming to Baltimore instead. Will you attend?
“Outside the convention center, young men danced and sang along with songs from My Little Pony cartoon that blasted from loud speakers as a video screen on a large truck showed the show’s characters,” the AP reported from this year’s BronyCon in New York. “One observer said it almost felt like a Grateful Dead concert.” Albeit a Dead concert with teenage boys wearing sparkly pony costumes, and discussing characters with names like Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie. (According to a recent study, the average brony is a 21 year-old straight, single student who is introverted and imaginative.)
With BronyCon’s relocation to the Baltimore Convention Center, our city is clearly making a play for the nerd festival money. We’ve got Otakon, the anime fest that infuses more than $15 million to the local economy, and now the brand new Otakon Music Festival. In a city that desperately needs some cash to, say, fix our decaying water system, banking on nerds who like to go to conventions is starting to sound like a brilliant idea — there are plenty of them, and they don’t mind spending money.
So I, for one, will be there to welcome the bronies to Baltimore with open arms. Baltimore’s always been a great city for people watching, and BronyCon will only add to that reputation. (And for those of you out there who are furrowing your brows over the idea of young men who wear My Little Pony costumes, take this to heart: “We live in a society where saying that something is for girls is the equivalent to saying that something is stupid, or saying that something isn’t worthwhile. I think that’s awful and I think that kind of attitude needs to be changed,” show animator Lauren Faust told the AP. “And these men are doing it. … They’re proud that they’re forward-thinking and modern enough to look past this misogynistic attitude.”) Mark your calendars for August 2-4, 2013.